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SUBAERIA from ILLOGIKA is another game made using UNITY but it doesn't use retro style blocky-pixel graphics; it does however (almost) depend on the use of a gamepad/hand controller. It can be played with a keyboard and mouse and that's how I had to play it for review because it wouldn't accept my controller device. Movement is by the Arrow keys and your character - you get no choice of character until you have unlocked the next one available - reacts pretty quickly to them. Her drone, through which she performs the majority of her actions, follows her and uses mouse button control but it doesn't move as fast or as fluently (remember I am not using a Gamepad). This is a shame because the drone is used to control the robots she encounters and controlling robots is the crux of the game.

 

The game is set in a world after the Big Flood turned the Earth into a waterworld - yes that's right, the World/Earth is completely under water. Luckily there were some survivors and somehow they managed to build a city under the sea. Unluckily the megalomaniac, Dorf, now President Dorf, rules this underwater world as a Dictator, a really evil and nasty Dictator - if he believes that someone has committed a criminal offence he has them and their families "cleansed" (exterminated by an army of brutal robots). President Dorf has had Subareia divided into the 'Haves' and the 'Have Nots', your first character "Styx" is a hacker, one of the lower echelon (I just found this word in a crossword puzzle) who uses whatever free time they have, from working hard to ensure the upper echelon have all they desire, and as the game begins she has been discovered and her and her family ordered to be cleansed. We see her running away from her house but at the time (and as far as I know) we are not aware of her family's fate at least visually, though it's pretty clear that they have been killed by Dorf's bot militia. 

Having watched this scene closely I am not quite sure why her family stand at the doorway and tell Styx to run, surely natural instinct would have them all running and evading, especially as she has/had a younger brother. I guess the game designer has issues with his/her family .....

 

SUBAERIA costs £12.00 (less 1p) and requires just under 2GB.

 

The 'Have Nots' live in large crates whilst the 'Haves' live in opulent luxury. Styx is on a mission to stop President Dorf and to do this she first has to locate him. To this aim she enters the complex and begins to search the rooms. She finds very little to begin with, not even an exit, but there are a number of Cleaner Robots. Some of these can move, some are like turrets, each is a different colour and has a different mode of attack. Using power-ups, Apps, and other programs and 'things' loaded into and uploaded to your drone, you first disable and then control the robot cleaners. Once you have control of all the cleaners in a room a previously unseen door opens and you can go through to the next room. There are numerous areas to search, each with a number of their own different rooms and thus each with their own different puzzles and challenges.

 

SUBAERIA is basically just that, a PUZZLE and CHALLENGE game. There are many different storylines you can follow (though finding Dorf and removing him from office is primary) and therefore there are numerous endings making playability and replayability extremely high possibilities.

 

Styx is no Lara Croft but she can jump [space] and run [Arrow Keys] thus allowing her to utilise the crates and boxes and other odds and sods in each room to get to higher perches where there is often (okay maybe more occasionally than often) something of value to be discovered, just walk onto the App and auto collect it. For players who like to bottle their games under specific genres, SUBAERIA may cause them some controversial mind games as it is a mixture of various game types, the largest of which being named after the 1980 game 'Rogue' and called "roguelike". It also includes the game genres of Dungeon Escape, Action Adventure, Survival, Shooter and Strategy. For £11.99 you get a lot of game. 

 

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© Chris Baylis 2011-2015